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Law on Trial: Punishment On Trial

Starts 14 June 2018 - 18:00
Finishes 14 June 2018 - 20:00
Venue Room B33, Birkbeck, University Of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX
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This event is part of the School of Law, Birkbeck's annual Law on Trial series. Find out more here. The hashtag for the series is #LawOnTrial.

Law on Trial 2018: Punishment on Trial

The Institute for Criminal Policy Research is pleased to be involved in ‘Punishment on Trial’. We will be hosting an evening exploring the nature and repercussions of punishment within the criminal justice system. In putting punishment on trial, we intend to explore who is punished, why and how they are punished, and with what effects. To do so, we will examine processes and decision-making within three major constituent parts of the criminal justice system: the police, the criminal courts and prisons. Experts in the field will discuss how certain forms of wrongdoing, through the actions of the police, are brought into the formal justice system; how the courts determine levels and types of punishment; and how punishment is delivered in our prisons.

After an introduction by a keynote speaker, the evening will take the form of discussant-style question and answer sessions, in which an expert in each area will respond to questions posed by a representative of ICPR. The experts will then come together as a panel to take questions from the audience. A key part of the day will be identifying the challenges facing our current system of punishment and potential options for policy and practice reform across the spheres of policing, the courts and imprisonment.


Prisons: Dr David Maguire (discussant: Catherine Heard, ICPR) Dr David Maguire obtained his doctorate from the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. David will discuss his PhD thesis, ‘Learning to Serve Time: Why So Many Working Class Men End Up in Prison’. This provides a cultural, class-based and gendered exploration of the links between punishment, exclusion, masculinity and vulnerability.

The Courts: Penelope Gibbs (discussant: TBC) Penelope Gibbs is a Research Associate at the University of Oxford and the Founder of Transform Justice, a charity that advocates for a fairer, more open, more humane and more effective justice system in England and Wales. Penelope Gibbs has also sat as a magistrate for three years and is currently the deputy chair of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, She worked in radio production and at the BBC before being inspired to influence social change in the third sector. She set up the Voluntary Action Media Unit at TimeBank before joining the Prison Reform Trust to run the Out of Trouble – a five year campaign to reduce child and youth imprisonment. Under her watch the number of children in prison in the UK fell by a third.

Policing: Dr Janet Foster (discussant: Tiggey May, ICPR) Dr Janet Foster is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at LSE. She has extensive research experience in communities and policing, has published widely and has been on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Criminology and Policing and Society. Janet directed the Diploma and Masters programme in Applied Criminology for senior police officers at Cambridge University in the 1990s, co-led the evaluation of the impact of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry on policing, and has worked as an advisor on policing issues in British and Europe. Between 2006 and 2009, Janet was seconded The Police Foundation —an independent charity dedicated to improving policing for the benefit of the public. During that time she worked with two UK police forces on action research projects that sought to use empirical research to improve policing practice. She was also editor of the Ideas in British Policing series. Janet has been a special adviser to HM Treasury, the Home Office, and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies.

This event is free however booking is required via this page.

Latecomers to the event are not guaranteed entry. Please be advised that photographs may be taken at the event. Please note that this booking is through the 3rd party service Eventbrite and by making this booking you are a customer of Eventbrite.

Please contact us if you have any access requirements. More details of accessibility at Birkbeck venues can be found here.

This event is part of the School of Law's 25th Anniversary celebrations. The School of Law, Birkbeck was founded in 1992 as a Department of Law with three members of academic staff. Over the last twenty-five years it has become a School comprising the Departments of Law and Criminology as well as the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, four research Centres, 40 members of staff and an overall student body of over 1,000. The School is proud of being a pioneer in establishing and developing a hub for the field of critical legal studies. While our national and international reputation has been forged through critical legal research, more recently we have gained recognition for critical criminological and activist research, socio-legal scholarship and policy-engaged empirical research. In recognition of this the last Research Excellence Framework exercise ranked us as being in the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

In this our 25th Anniversary year we will be holding a series of events reflecting on our history and successes as well as looking forward to the opportunities and challenges facing critical legal and criminological teaching and scholarship in the 21st century. Find out more about the 25th Anniversary celebrations here


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